One of the descriptive names of Succulents is ‘Hens and Chicks’. And while that term could be puzzling to someone not familiar with these plants, the nickname is actually fitting because of their amazing feature to ‘propagate’. Perhaps that is why their formal name is called ‘Sempervivum’, which means ‘to live forever’.

While I have only taken up Succulent gardening as a hobby nearly a year now, I would have the pleasant surprise to see that even after I planted my ‘base’ garden, I would come back to it sporadically every few months to see that baby ‘chicks’ have sprouted from the ‘hen’ plants. It is astounding how they can easily produce these miniatures, complete with roots, that are easy enough to pull from the main plant and be replanted in another container.

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I have, in fact, taken the smallest chicks and placed them in several arrangements. Using rectangular glass jars (pieces I kept during my wedding bridal shower) and a round ceramic container that used to be a candle holder, I placed cacti planting soil, then put together a variety of the baby succulents. Then I covered the remaining vacant spaces with smooth garden pebbles. I made a total of 7, which became centerpieces for my patio table.

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Then with the larger chicks and a few succulent cuttings, I designed their placement on larger pots for my front porch and backyard patio. The above photo shows my most recent creations, done this July 2014. But believe it or not, aside from these 4 pots, I have actually arranged 10 others…all succulents harvested from my main garden! Yes, they reproduce that much!

However, there is a tip of prudence my late horticulturalist Grandma Lory taught me (and re-emphasized by my Mom as I was growing up), and that is never let anything go to waste. I noticed that whenever I do a creative cluster of succulents, there are plenty of its ‘petals’ that drop off. I feel terrible about this, but lament that there is nothing I can do because this is the part where they are most fragile.

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So I figure, why not keep these succulent droppings and try to grow their roots? Without doing any research, and just going by instinct, I started placing the petals on any of the potted arrangements. I would dip them into the moistened soil and cross my fingers that they can actually grow roots. Another technique I use is to place the larger petals in a shallow dish filled with water, but most of the time I prefer just dipping them into the soil.

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Two weeks later I inspected the tiny petals and was completely amazed that they, in fact, had grown roots! So fascinating! They are the most low-maintenance plants I know and yet they reproduce from anything, whether it’s a small sprout from the mother hen, or from the petal droppings.

I would normally transfer the rooted petals into a potted plant. And because they are still very young, I water them more frequently than the bigger Succulents because I am trying to help their roots establish themselves.

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55 Responses to Succulent Chicks and Petal Roots

  1. I love succulents! These are beautiful, and yes easy to propagate. Have you ever tried airplants?? It’s my new fav

  2. Maryn says:

    This is the perfect post for me! I just threw away my cute little succulent as I managed to completely kill it 🙁 but now with your tips I can have a go at them again. I completely lack a green thumb, so this is super helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    • Stylish+Geek says:

      Maryn trust me when I say I don’t have a green thumb either (even if my late Grandma is a famous horticulturalist!). But I seem to have found it with succulents and I am grateful for that.

  3. Andi says:

    These are perfect for Northern California as we are in the middle of a drought they don’t take a lot of water yet they add more color than a lot of the other catci type plants you are supposed to use!

  4. I love plants that don’t need a lot of water. My favorite plant of mine is my Christmas Cactus. It was actually made from a leaf from my mom’s cactus! Now it’s huge!

  5. This is completely cool–and EXACTLY the kind of plant that I need (i.e. something I can’t kill!). I’ll definitely be getting some of these. Btw, your arrangements are beautiful!

  6. What gorgeous plants! They definitely are succulent!! <3

  7. What a nice hobby. Your arrangements look lovely.

  8. I LOVE succulents. You did a really beautiful job with them.

  9. I can’t keep anything alive. Ever. Not even bamboo. 🙁

  10. love succulents! in fact i design with them everyday! =) where’s that little blue flower coming from?

    • Stylish+Geek says:

      That is awesome! Maybe you can give me some arrangement tips since I’m still so new at this 🙂 Blue flower? You mean the purplish little cacti? It sprouted from a big cacti actually. 🙂

  11. I love love LOVE succulents! So beautiful. I really love flowers and plants but I haven’t quite lean red how to take care of them yet <3

  12. Shannon Hall says:

    These are so cool! I’ve been wanting to grow some succulents… I kill every plant I own though!

  13. Holly says:

    I love succulents! And I love how they are so low maintenance and you can basically plant any part of it and it comes back to life!

  14. Myrabev says:

    I have a confession, though I have seen these plants around I actually didnt know there name until today I mean I have heard of the name just never put two and two together lol. They are beautiful

  15. PaulineCabrera says:

    Gorgeous plants! They’d be great addition to my landscaping.

  16. Breanna says:

    These are beyond gorgeous! I’m in the “Can’t keep anything alive” club! 🙁 I love the colors of these though – seriously so pretty!

  17. jen says:

    Succulents are so awesome. I’ve never had any but I’ve always wanted to try growing some!

  18. frenchrobin says:

    My gosh! These are beautiful. I’d never heard of planting the “petals” to grow a new plant. That is very interesting and helpful. Wonderful photos too!

  19. Claire says:

    I love succulents! Great pictures!

  20. I just love succulents! I keep meaning to get more for my house now that the cold months are approaching but just haven’t gotten to it yet. Thanks for reminding me! 😉

  21. Lindsay says:

    So pretty!! This would be perfect to have on my desk at work 🙂

  22. Rebekah says:

    oh my gosh I love these! I need some for my office 😀

  23. These look so pretty. I love how they look in a pot. Such great pics!

  24. They look so pretty. Now I want to start planting. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Jess says:

    I love the spotlight succulents have been having!

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